Best of NYC®

Best Of 2011

Neighborhoods

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Best Of :: Food & Drink

Best Canadian
Mile End

We've had a flood of restaurants from Montreal during the past two years, and it's a toss-up which to choose for this category because all have their individual charms and their own bailiwicks. Since M. Wells has closed pending relocation, let's say Mile End, a Brooklyn deli that has done a magnificent job of cloning the smoked meat of Jewish Montreal plus a handful of other Quebecois specialties like seed-sprinkled bagels and a sandwich called the Ruth Lewinsky. A more ambitious menu has been added in the evening. 97A Hoyt Street, Brooklyn, 718-852-7510, mileendbrooklyn.com (11217)

97 Hoyt St., Brooklyn, 11217
MAP
718-852-7510
Best Afghan
Balkh Shish Kabab House

While most Afghan restaurants specialize in kebabs, pilafs, and fried things, Balkh Shish Kabab House, under the N tracks in Astoria, exhibits a penchant for boiling and braising. Most unique is a braised jerky called laundy, but you can also get a pair of shing: magnificent boiled lamb shanks oozing marrow. Other don't-miss dishes include fist-sized aushack dumplings stuffed with meat and pumpkin-filled turnovers known as bolanee kadu—demonstrating a surprising vegetarian bent to the meat-heavy menu. 23-10 31st Street, Queens, 718-721-5020 (11105)

23-10 31st St., Long Island City, 11105
MAP
718-721-5020
Best Albanian
Burektorja Dukagjini

The foremost Albanian contribution to New York cuisine is the burek, a spare tire of a flaky filo pie, stuffed with spinach, cheese, meat, or a combination. Although many Albanians now run pizza parlors and turn out delicious bureks as a sideline (sometimes they're not even on the menu), Burektorja Dukagjini specializes in them and serves virtually nothing else except coffee beverages. You can sit in the pleasant but small premises right off White Plains Road and wash your warm wedge of burek down with cappuccino, but why not take an entire pie home? 758 Lydig Avenue, The Bronx, 718-822-8955 (10462)

758 Lydig Ave., Bronx, 10462
MAP
718-822-8955
Best Barbadian
Culpeppers

Don't you dare call them Barbadians! Former residents of this gentile Caribbean island prefer to be called Bajans, and Culpeppers is one of their most commodious outposts. The national dish of okra-flecked porridge called coo-coo plus steamed flying fish (sometimes they jump right into the boat!) is always available—unless it's not, when kingfish is substituted. Other delightful dishes include small sandwiches called cutters, pan-Caribbean rotis, and the usual nexus of stewed and sometimes curried chicken, goat, and lamb. 1082 Nostrand Avenue, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn, 718-940-4122 (11225)

1082 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn, 11225
MAP
718-940-4122
Best Belgian
Petite Abeille

The Petite Abeille chain has flourished since its debut more than a decade ago across from Old Navy in the Ladies Mile. The best remains in Tribeca, where such Belgian commonplaces as stoemp (mashed vegetables, with or without sausage), carbonnade Flamande (Flemish beef stew), and a selection of steamed mussels in various sauces, served with the classic twice-cooked Belgian fries. Enjoy the Tin-Tin comics secreted here and there on the premises. 134 West Broadway, 212-791-1360, for more locations, go to petiteabeille.com (10013)

134 W. Broadway, New York, 10013
MAP
212-791-1360
Best Chilean
Pomaire

Even though our food markets are filled with pristine Chilean produce, there are only a small number of Chilean restaurants in town. Yes, we have oodles of Argentine, Ecuadorian, and Peruvian places—but only a few Chilean. The best is Pomaire, an ancient Theater District spot with a predisposition for seafood. Sure, there are pan-roasted corvinas (the nation's favorite fish, in the bass family), seafood empanadas, ceviches, and crudos galore, but you can also enjoy the clay-pot cuisine of the Chilean Andes, including pastel de choclo (a corn and ground-beef pie) and the hearty chicken and meat stews known as cazuelas. 371 West 46th Street, 212-956-3055, pomairenyc.com (10036)

371 W. 46th St., New York, 10036
MAP
212-956-3055
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Best Canadian: Mile End

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